Why test?

27 11 2007

Which page is best?

I love web designers and creative people. They create beautiful things out of words and ideas we give them, yet still have to deal with people judging every little thing they put out into the world. Working on company websites is especially an ordeal. Everyone has an opinion, from CEO to marketer, and too often there is a struggle of who to listen to, but really who knows what will work?

When creative runs up against marketing, a gray area falls on who knows best. Do you go by experience, seniority or even… degree? In the worst case, the CEO is calling all the shots and everyone else is just nodding in agreement or can’t get the CEO to listen to their advice.

So why test? At its core, testing is about finding out what works best, without any of the politics. If I put up two versions of a page and one gets more sales than another, its hard to argue with that. My job ends up proving people right or wrong, judged by what real visitors are telling us.

Test to:

  • Know the impact of redesigns (quantitative)
  • Figure out what your customers are and are not looking for (qualitative)
  • Find the truth (awesome!)

As a marketer, our goals are to speak to our audience and get them interested in our business. With testing, marketers have a way to directly listen to what visitors want, to find out their language. So start testing to start listening.

Make sure you come back for more, I will be writing more on reading messaging through testing. This is just the beginning!


Getting started

26 11 2007

Being a newcomer to the small but growing online testing industry has put me in a unique position. Not only do I get to learn about completely fresh and exciting marketing technology, but also I have an opportunity to build upon this nascent industry. While I have only just started, already I am way ahead of most online marketers in terms of understanding online content optimization.

Recently, A/B, split and multivariate testing have become hot topics in online marketing, yet they are still far from commonplace. With that comes a lack of resources or even knowledge about testing, although the demand to know more is quickly rising. As I have found out, and hope to share with this blog, there is a lot more to testing than just trying new things out. Much like the many businesses that have been burned by bad PPC campaigns, there are businesses that have had bad experiences testing. However, I know for a fact that good testing methodology and technology drives results. I hope that I can help other marketers out there learn more about optimization and develop a culture of testing and optimization in their companies.

Don’t just change it, test it.